Today Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) joined Senator Rick Scott (R-Fla.) in introducing the “Transparent Drug Pricing Act of 2019.” The two Senators spoke this morning about their legislation to lower prescription drug prices by promoting greater price transparency, increasing consumer choice, and ensuring Americans pay the same price as consumers in other parts of the world.
Senator Hawley said, “It’s infuriating to watch the big pharma companies abuse American families again and again by charging them outrageous prices for lifesaving medicines. We need to lift the veil of secrecy that surrounds prescription drug pricing. Insurance companies need to be up front about what consumers will pay for prescription drugs and pharmacies need to disclose the lowest price available. It’s common sense.”
Senator Rick Scott said, “American consumers are facing a crisis of rising drug costs and we can’t wait any longer. I urge every Senator to put themselves in the shoes of a family or a senior living on a fixed income who’s seen their drug costs triple in just a few years. This is about the lives of real people that hang in the balance. Every American should know exactly what their prescriptions cost and it’s unfair that consumers in other countries get a better deal than patients in America. That must change. There is no justification for waiting, we need to address the soaring costs of prescription drugs right now. Drug prices are a serious problem – a problem Washington should have addressed long ago.”
Background On The Transparent Drug Pricing Act of 2019:
- PRICE TRANSPARENCY
Pharmacies MUST inform patients what it would cost to purchase drugs out-of-pocket instead of using their insurance and co-pay. If patients choose to pay out-of-pocket (which is often cheaper), the total cost would be applied to their deductible. Consumers should not be penalized for shopping for the best price. And they must get this information at the point of sale.
Insurance companies MUST inform patients of the total costs of their prescription drugs 60 days prior to open enrollment. This will allow patients to be consumers and shop around for the best deal. Once those costs are set, they cannot be changed for a full 12 months. This will give patients – particularly seniors living on a fixed income – confidence that their drug costs won’t suddenly increase.
Drug companies CANNOT charge American consumers more for prescription drugs than they charge consumers in other industrialized nations like Great Britain, Canada or Germany. There is no reason why U.S. pharmaceutical companies sell drugs to people in foreign countries far cheaper than what they charge Americans. This provision would sunset after 5 years.
Full bill text can be accessed here.